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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 23106 Samuel McIlroy

  • Age: 27
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Thursday 7th June 1917
  • Commemorated at: Railway Dugout B.g. Zillebeke
    Panel Ref: VII.M.5

Samuel William McIlroy was born in Kirkdale, Liverpool, in August or September of 1889, his birth registered as McElroy.  There are inconsistencies in the records as to Samuel’s date of birth, as well as in the spelling of the last name.  His parents John James McIlroy and Matilda Gaskell, both from Liverpool, married in 1878.  Samuel had one sister, Florence, and brothers William, Charles, and Frederick.  Twins Edward and James and another child died in infancy. 

In 1891 the family is living with Matilda’s brother and his family at 3 Mark Street, Everton.  His father is a house painter. His siblings are 11, 10, and 4 years old.  Samuel is aged 1. William, the eldest, died in 1895 at age 16.

In 1901 they are at 32 Lennox Street, Kensington.  His father is a painter and paper hanger.  There are three children in the home:  Charles is 14, Samuel is 10, and Frederick is 2.  His father died in 1907.

In 1911 the census finds them living with his married sister Florence and her family, at 34 Cottenham Street.  It shows mother Matilda having 8 children, 4 of whom have died.  With her are Charles, 25, and Samuel 23, both paper hangers and painters, and Frederick 13.  Samuel’s age is listed incorrectly, the census form having been filled in by his brother in law Charles Bishop.  He would have been 21.

Samuel enlisted in Liverpool on 14th Nov 1914 as Private 23106, 20th (Pals) Bn, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment.  His age is recorded as 23 years and 2 months (he would have been 25 and two months).  He is described as being 5’5 and a half inches tall, weighing 120 lbs, with a sallow complexion and brown hair and eyes. He gives his occupation as clerk and his next of kin as his mother, Matilda, at 27 Cottenham Street, Liverpool.

He was posted to 89th Brigade Depot on 29th April 1915, a significant date in tha tthe 4 Pals battalions left Liverpool on 30th April for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. While training at Knowsley, on 2nd May 1915, Samuel was confined to barracks for one day and deducted two days’ pay for being absent without leave. He was posted to the 22nd Bn on 18th August 1915  and on 14th September he was confined to barracks for two days for being improperly dressed on parade.  

Samuel was posted to 19th Bn K.L.R. on 7th March 1916 and embarked for France at Folkestone on 8th March on S.S. “Queen”.  The next day, at Etaples, he joined the roll of reinforcements from 30th Infantry Brigade Depot and joined the 19th Bn in the field on 1st April 1916.  The battalion at this time was behind the lines in the Somme. At the end of the monthe they return to the front line near Maricourt.  At the end of May the battalion comes out of the line and moves to Abbeville for specialist training for the ‘Big Push’.  Samuel survives the fighting at the Somme, including the deadly failed attack on Guillemont at the end of July, when 500 Pals were lost.  On 16th September 1916 Samuel was awarded 3 days Field Punishment No.1 for not complying with an order.  At the end of October, after the Battle of the Transloy Ridges, the battalion moves north of the Somme.  Again, on 8th December 1916 Samuel was awarded 2 days Field Punishment No.1 for losing part of his kit.  In February 1917 the 19th takes over part of the line at Agny.  Samuel attended 30th Division Grenade School from 9th to 24th January 1917, when he rejoined his unit. He sees action at the Battle of Arras in April. In May the Pals battalions move north to the dreaded Ypres salient.

From the battalion War Diary for 7th June 1917 –  The Battle of Messines.  

"Attack on the Messines Ridge by the Second Army, this battalion and the 2nd Bedfordshire Regt holding the line on the left flank of the attack.  Immediately after zero (3.10 a.m.) four patrols under 2nd Lieuts  J. Ross, G.W. Sharples, A.S. Calvert, C.W. Cackett.  The first patrol under 2nd Lieut Ross got to within 40 yards of the German front line.  2nd Lt Ross then left his patrol and went forward to reconnoitre. In climbing over the parapet he found that the front line was strongly held.  With great difficulty he got his patrol back to our front line having suffered only 1 casualty (wounded). The report was immediately sent in with the result that artillery commenced to bombard the enemy front line.  The other three patrols were unable to get far owing to the heavy enemy machine gun and rifle fire.  One patrol leader, 2nd Lt. Sharples, was killed and his patrol suffered casualties, 2 OR killed and 4 OR wounded.  In 2nd Lt. Calvert’s patrol 1 OR was killed.  During the day repeated reports were received of the progress of the attack on the right and late in the afternoon reports were received that most of the objectives had been reached.”

The three Other Ranks killed during this action were Pte 52098 Alfred Jackson, Pte 204299 George Wiseman, and Pte 23106 Samuel McIlroy.  They lie together in Railway Dugout Burial Ground at Zillebeke.

His mother was informed in March 1918 that there were no personal effects to be sent. His mother received his medals

She wrote to inform Infantry records of her change of address on 10th June 1919, to 5 Pollock Street.

died in 1938, age 77, still living at 5 Pollock Street.

Samuel is commemorated on Liverpool Town Hall, Hall of Remembrance, Panel 21 (as McElroy)

89th Brigade On This Day.

104 Years Ago.
The Pals are engaged in truly murderous fighting whilst helping to clear Trones Wood. Losses are again heavy.

Killed On This Day.

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Cpl 15874 William Henry Charles Askew
24 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Pte 32807 James Alfred Carmichael

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Cpl 16087 Robert Joseph Cowman

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Pte 26663 James William Crowe

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
L/Cpl 15424 Charles George Croxson
21 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Pte 15241 Arthur Shaw Damsell

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Pte 26113 Noel Trewavas Harvey
20 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
L/Cpl 15002 Arthur James Henshaw
26 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Pte 22404 Harry Hewitson

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
2nd Lieut Harold Crispin Hick

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
L/Cpl 22415 John Dykes Holt

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 12th July 1916.
Pte 24484 William Archer Houseman

A total of 22 Pals where killed on this day. View All